Exercise cuts gestational diabetes risk, research shows

Physical activity before and during pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, according to US research.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston showed physical activity before pregnancy can slash the risk of gestational diabetes by up to half. The team also found exercise in early pregnancy cuts the risk by a quarter.

Promoting exercise among these groups could help prevent gestational diabetes and its complications, the authors said.

Researchers examined studies of 34,929 patients’ activity levels prior to pregnancy and the resultant rate of gestational diabetes. A total of 2,813 cases of gestational diabetes were reported.

They conducted a similar analysis of 4,401 patients in early pregnancy, of which 361 developed the condition.

Women in the highest physical activity quartiles prior to pregnancy were 55% less likely to later develop gestational diabetes than those in the lowest. This benefit dropped to 24% among those exercising during early pregnancy.

NICE recommends pregnant women undertake 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day.

Deepa Khatri, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: ‘Women should try to achieve a healthy weight before conception, as active weight reduction during pregnancy is not appropriate because of the risk of compromising maternal and foetal health.

‘But it is important to encourage expectant mothers to avoid excess weight gain.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

MPs demand urgent action on NHS backlog and routine COVID-19 tests for staff

MPs demand urgent action on NHS backlog and routine COVID-19 tests for staff

MPs have demanded urgent action to prevent avoidable harm to patients from the NHS...

Freeze QOF and deliver COVID cash or second wave will overwhelm GPs, BMA warns

Freeze QOF and deliver COVID cash or second wave will overwhelm GPs, BMA warns

GP practices will be unable to cope with a second wave of COVID-19 unless urgent...

Reducing our practice's carbon footprint by appropriate inhaler prescribing

Reducing our practice's carbon footprint by appropriate inhaler prescribing

Dr Vasu Siva explains how her practice is aiming to cut its carbon emissions by targeting...

RCGP chair warns of 'significant problem' over flu vaccine supplies

RCGP chair warns of 'significant problem' over flu vaccine supplies

The NHS faces a 'significant problem' with flu vaccine supplies as it aims to cover...

GMC overhauls consent advice to improve patient involvement in decisions about care

GMC overhauls consent advice to improve patient involvement in decisions about care

The GMC has overhauled its guidance on patient consent - setting out seven key principles...

Government must show evidence behind PPE strategy, warns BMA

Government must show evidence behind PPE strategy, warns BMA

Chronic shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) across the NHS during the...